The Institute of Medical Studies (IMS) at the University of Toronto is a large department with many graduate students. Many of them are M.D.s doing clinical research.
The department has instituted a graduate student oath that beginning graduate students recite at their first meeting. The idea is to teach students the value of social and moral responsibilities. Beginning graduate students also have to take a mandatory seminar course on ethics.
The oath is explained and reproduced in this week's issue of science magazine in an article by Davis et al. (2008). Here it is.
"I, [NAME], have entered the serious pursuit of new knowledge as a member of the community of graduate students at the University of Toronto.What do you think? Is this something that all departments should consider?
"I declare the following:
"Pride: I solemnly declare my pride in belonging to the international community of research scholars.
"Integrity: I promise never to allow financial gain, competitiveness, or ambition cloud my judgment in the conduct of ethical research and scholarship.
"Pursuit: I will pursue knowledge and create knowledge for the greater good, but never to the detriment of colleagues, supervisors, research subjects or the international community of scholars of which I am now a member.
"By pronouncing this Graduate Student Oath, I affirm my commitment to professional conduct and to abide by the principles of ethical conduct and research policies as set out by the University of Toronto."
Davis, K.D., Seeman, M.V., Chapman, J. and Rotstein, O.D. (2008) A Graduate Student Oath. Science 320:1587-1588. [DOI: 10.1126/science.320.5883.1587b]